Is there a way of stopping the sharing of all imported files and file links to groups?

I created a bibliographic database of some reasonable size and thought to share it with the world.

I'd like to be really friendly/sharing bibliographic entries, but really safe regarding copyright infringement.

Basically I want to ensure that I do not share any files, nor even links to files. I wanted to share my bibliographical information without sharing any files of file links.

In some cases I have pdf files without a parent/containing citation.

In Zotero preferences under "When copying items between libraries, include"
I have deselected the following two
"Child notes"
"Child snapshots and imported files"

However, independent pdfs are shown in the group library.

I thus presume that "Child snapshots and imported files" means
"Child snapshots and child imported files"

To make sure I don't infringe copyright, I would like to be able to prevent the sharing of all imported files, not only child imported files.

In other words, I would like "Child snapshots and imported files" to mean, "Child snapshots and all imported files (be they child or not)"

But it seems that at present, perhaps, it is not possible to prevent the the sharing of non-child imported files (unless one shares ones database file by file).

Or perhaps there is a way....I am not sure if I have made myself clear.

Perhaps if I deselect "child links" too? No. I don't think that this will help.

I would like a way of not sharing files in my database, period, be they child or not, as links or not. Is there a way of doing this?

Is the way forward to look at my library and make sure that all files are contained within a bibliographic item before sharing them to a public group?

  • Zotero won't allow anyone to access files you share via a public library or public group for exactly the copyright reasons you're concerned about.
  • Thank you....I remain however scared...

    There are files on the Web that are copyright-worrying.

    Even famous scholars are putting things on the web that are copyright-worrying. There are files on the Web that may be copyright infringing.

    I want to share only bibliographic information.

    I will also remove "child links."

    But when it comes to pdfs that are not part of a citation, there does not seem to be a way of preventing links to these pdffs from being shared at least as links. I would like to share only citations (and possibly, later my notes)

    Is there a way of sharing only citations, and not links to files?
  • I don't think so, no.
    IANAL, but I wouldn't worry about copyright infringement by linking to something that's openly available on the web.
  • edited April 30, 2012
    I am a civil servant and have to be up-tight. I guess that quite a lot of university people feel that way too.

    So it would be nice to be able to have further control over links.

    There are many types of links
    Links in citations (URL field)
    Files that give their origin (parent or child)
    Snapshots that give their origin (parent or child)

    In my case I'd like to be able to zap everything other than links in citations, but at the least, in the same way that one can remove reference to child links, it would be nice to be able to remove reference to non-child links.
  • We're not going to add an option to strip the URL field. Links are critical metadata and a building block of the web.
  • That is a shame but thank you for your response.
  • I have been quite interested in this thread because I get the feeling that you are being misunderstood or that you have misunderstood some basic things about protection of intellectual property for documents on the web. Maybe both.

    Clearly there are files that have been shared to the web that should not have been -- illegal sharing of music or movies, etc. It is rare but I have seen books online that have been posted to the web while under copyright.

    The important thing here, I think, is not to link to the questionable version. Instead, link to the publisher's version. If you do that there should be no problem. I work closely with hundreds of publishers across the world. I know of no publisher website that offers their protected matter openly. Either they impose a pay wall to viewers outside an institution that has a subscription or they publish with an open access policy. In both cases, it is desirable to have links to the publications.

    If you are concerned about publicly offering links to pdf files in your own library; it is my understanding that the Zotero online system will not allow that. Documents can be shared within a group but not with the general public. If you are using some other system instead of Zotero storage to house your citations and documents AND all web users have access to those files; the real problem is the use of an unsecured file server. You should be concerned about the public access to your files whether or not you provide links to them.
  • Thank you DWL-SCA

    I am just now looking at a page on the Internet, freely accessible and linked by Google sholar, which contains the reading list of a philosophy course at a US university, allowing the download of various famous papers. It seems possible that the teacher does not have permission to publicise these papers. There are many authors that supply their journal articles some in final draft, others not.

    I really don't want to malign anyone.

    I have about one thousand items in my library and it is growing. As you say I can not link to the questionable version and surely the number of "questionable items" should be very small. The denominator is large.

    I am aware that Zotero will not share content on any private server, including my file store on Zotero.

    I would like to put my citations (and perhaps notes) on Zotero groups.

    I may look into using some sort of database management tool to access the database and remove links directly.
  • By the way, I only mean now to point out that one can now remove "child files" and "child links" but stand-alone files are left as stand-alone links and there does not seem to be an option for not including them.

    This seems to me to be inconsistent.

    All the URLs in the citation data are fine as they are.
  • if you're going to put them in a group, just sort by item type and delete all stand-alone files and links, you don't need any fancy database software for that (beyond Zotero, that is). The type for all of them (and just those) is "Attachment".
  • edited May 2, 2012
    That is true. I can delete orphan pdfs from my library and then put them back in later.

    But when I put them back in I have to remember which collection they were in so it is not as simple as all that.

    Thank you for the suggestion though. For the time being, I am slowly parenting my orphan pdfs.
  • adamsmith is suggesting an advanced search for Attachment items. The Orphan Items listing under My Library is something different.
  • Thank you.

    I tried an advanced search on Type is Attachment and found nothing. I tried it combined with all and a 1 in date and it did not find anything.

    But I am not sure why I would need this search unless files inside parents are also shared as links.
  • What I'm suggesting is to add the column "type" to the middle panel and sort by it - much faster & more convenient than searching.
    I'm also suggesting doing that in the group library not in "my library". I don't really see the problem with that: You want standalone-items to behave like child items - the current option for child items is to not move them along with items you copy to a group library - i.e. they are not in the group library at all. By deleting standalone items in the group library you achieve exactly the same thing - they're not in the group library at all.
    Once you add those items to parents in "My Library" you can move them to the respective collection in your group - since they are presumably still in the right collection in "My Library," you won't have to remember anything about this.
  • Thank you adamsmith.

    I see now. I can remove them from the group and not my library, after I transfer but before I sync.

    I will do some experimentation.

    Thanks again,

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